For Andrew Brown and Shane Robinson, the Triple A game between the Memphis Redbirds and Iowa Cubs on April 16, 2011, lasted just a few minutes.
On the third pitch of the home half of the first inning, Tony Campana of the Iowa Cubs, hit a looping line drive to left-center field. Left fielder Andrew Brown and center fielder Shane Robinson both gave chase. With their arms extended to make the catch, the two collided violently and immediately fell to the ground. Pete Kozma retrieved the baseball and the play ended, with Campana ending up at second base.
Courtesy of our friend, Bill Ivie, you can see the play right here – but please be advised, this is a very violent collision. If you have an MiLB.TV subscription, the archive of the game is available. The play takes place at the 8:10 mark in the broadcast.
It appears that Brown and Robinson collided, hitting head to head. Due to the angle that each was taking to the ball, Brown took the hit to the side of his head. He was down for several minutes, but was able to get up and leave the field on a cart. The cart took him to the team’s training area where he was examined.
Robinson, the smaller of the two outfielders, took the full force of the collision with the front of his face. He was down on the ground for over 13 minutes. He was able to get up and left the field on the cart, not on a stretcher. The Iowa Cubs fans in attendance cheered the Redbirds center fielder as the cart departed the field for the parking lot, where an ambulance would take him away to a nearby hospital.
The game was interrupted for a total of 16 minutes.
Adron Chambers and Daryl Jones, the only other Redbirds outfielders, took over for the injured players. Courtesy of Brian Walton, both players have been placed on the disabled list. Outfielder James Rapaport and infielder Freddie Bynum have been activated to replace them on the Memphis roster. Although primarily an infielder, Bynum is really a versatile utility player and has experience in the outfield.
For Robinson, this is another in a long line of injuries that has plagued the young man’s minor league career. A foot injury in 2007 cost him 47 games in A ball, and a separated shoulder limited him to just 26 games with the Memphis Redbirds in 2010. In both cases, he seemed to have recovered without missing a beat. He was off to a hot start in 2011. In 6 games, he was 8 for 20 with 2 doubles, a triple and 6 RBIs. That works out to a .400 batting average and .600 slugging. Add a couple of walks to up his on-base percentage to .435, and he was off to a nice start – small sample size notwithstanding.
Our prayers go out to both of these Memphis Redbirds and wish them a speedy and complete recovery.
[Update April 17, Courtesy of Fox Sports Midwest] Andrew Brown suffered a concussion in the collision with Shane Robinson. After an examination, he was released from the hospital and rejoined the team in their hotel. He was placed on the 7 day disabled list as a precaution.
[Update April 18, Courtesy of the Memphis Redbirds] Robinson was not as fortunate. He suffered facial fractures and spent the night at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. Once he returns to Memphis, he will require surgery to repair the damage sustained in the collision. At this point we put aside any thoughts of his baseball career and hope that this will not be a life altering injury.
[Update July 6, 2011, Courtesy of Josh Jones] Shane Robinson has been assigned to the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Gulf Coast League to begin his rehabilitation assignment. You can keep track of his progress at his MiLB Player Page. We wish Shane a speedy rehab and look forward to seeing him playing in center field with the Memphis Redbirds soon.